Cynthia McCurren, PhD, RN

Cynthia McCurrenDr. McCurren is a distinguished nurse leader and scholar whose work has had a significant impact on transforming academic nursing. She was appointed by the University of Michigan Board of Regents to serve as dean of the school of nursing at the University of Michigan-Flint in December 2020. She previously served for 13 years as dean of the Kirkhof College of Nursing at Grand Valley State University, where she led the school to many firsts, including the launch of the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, the Clinical Nurse Leader program, and the creation of the Bonnie Wesorick Center for Healthcare Transformation, which was funded through a $1 million endowment. Prior to this appointment, she held a variety of leadership and teaching roles at the University of Louisville, including interim dean, associate dean for academic affairs, and director of nursing research for the University of Louisville Hospital.

Active in Michigan’s nursing community, Dr. McCurren currently serves on the Michigan Association of Nursing Leaders executive board, is the past president of the Michigan Association of Colleges of Nursing, and was an appointed member of the Michigan Task Force for Nursing Education. She serves as an appointed member of the Board of Directors for the University of Michigan Health-West and serves as the Chair of the Quality and Safety Committee.

Dr. McCurren has played an active leadership role in advancing many of AACN’s signature initiatives, including the development of new competency standards that will reshape nursing education. She has served the association as Board Member at Large, Chair of the Membership and Program Committees, State Grassroots Liaison, and in many other volunteer capacities. She was a member of AACN’s Vision for Nursing Education Task Force, which developed a white paper outlining priorities for professional nursing education into the foreseeable future. Dr. McCurren most recently served as Co-Chair of AACN’s Essentials Task Force, which developed The Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education. This re-envisioned approach to preparing registered nurses for entry-level and advanced roles, endorsed by the nation’s nursing school deans in April 2021, has sparked a new era of innovation in nursing that will require fresh approaches to teaching, student assessment, clinical learning, and academic-practice partnerships.

Rounds with Leadership

Read the monthly forum from AACN’s Board Chair and President/CEO that offers commentary on issues and trends impacting academic nursing.

Read the latest forum


For media relations, contact Robert Rosseter. For all other inquieries, contact Executive Assistant Phyllis Todd.